Plymouth proud to call Bravo Battery our own

MANY INSPIRING AND MEMORABLE words were spoken in speeches delivered at the various Memorial Day commemorations throughout Sheboygan County and the nation last week.

Here in Plymouth, attendees at the Memorial Day ceremony in Union Cemetery heard from Capt. John King, commanding officer of Plymouth-based Battery B, 1-121st Field Artillery, Army National Guard.

King is the newest commander of Bravo Battery, which has been based in Plymouth for many years. He took advantage of the opportunity to remind his listeners of some of the proud history and accomplishments of our own battery.

“The unit in your back yard is one of the best in the country,” King said – and rightly so.

That was affirmed as recently as last year, when the battery was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award, which recognized them as the year’s outstanding National Guard field artillery battery from all across the country for superb mission accomplishment and overall excellence.

It was just the latest honor and recognition for the soldiers of Battery B who call Plymouth home for training and exercise throughout the year.

It was, in part, in acknowledgment of their deployment to Afghanistan in 2013, when Bravo became the first National Guard High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) unit to deployed into an active combat zone – an assignment that previously had been given only to full-time Army HIMARS field artillery units.

But it was only the latest chapter in the long, proud history of service by the Plymouth-based unit.

Bravo’s parent unit, the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery of the

Wisconsin National Guard, traces its history back to

1884. Soldiers from the National Guard unit served proudly and with distinction in both World Wars, as well as deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006-2007 and in Afghanistan in 2012-2013.

The battery and the battalion were also activated for nearly a year in 1961-1962 during and after the

Berlin Crisis.

In addition, the battery and the battalion have served the state in many capacities over the years, during riots to answering the call during and after from serving natural disasters, and much more.

Through all of that, one thing has remained constant – the soldiers of Bravo Battery are not full-time soldiers. They live and work among us, holding down jobs, raising families and contributing in many other ways to Plymouth, Sheboygan County and Wisconsin.

Soldiering is what they do on their weekends and other spare time, until and unless they are called to soldiering full-time because their state or their nation need them.

We may see the soldiers of Bravo Battery in uniform once a month or so, but we see them every day as our neighbors, family and friends.

Plymouth has supported its National Guard unit proudly and faithfully for many years, as its members have served us, and we continue and will continue to do so, as do they.

King thanked the community for their continued support and appreciation during his speech, noting that Bravo has a traditionally low turnover rate that has contributed greatly to their success because of that support. “People like the Plymouth unit and they like to stay here. We have a lot of good people in our unit.”

That will continue to be true and Bravo will continue to receive our thanks and grateful appreciation for their service and sacrifice.

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